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MOBILE BARBERSHOP: Local barber serving community, but facing roadblocks

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – One man in the Cedar Valley is fulfilling a dream, 10 years in the making. Now, he’s sharing his dream with others, boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem.

William Burt is a barber in Waterloo. He’s been cutting hair for nearly two decades.

Burt said he’s excited to introduce ‘Kut Kings’ to the community. He called it the first mobile barbershop in Iowa.

But right now, he’s facing a roadblock.

THE VISION

Getting your haircut in a place you might not expect: a barbershop on wheels.

“So, I kinda wanted to think outside of the box, be a little more creative,” Burt said.

His goal is to help those who are underserved in the community. Burt said some people don’t have access to haircuts.

“The homeless shelters, the veteran centers. It would be great to partner with the Waterloo community schools, get in there and get some of those guys haircuts that don’t regularly get them,” Burt explained.

Burt said he bought the bus-turned-barbershop from a woman in Indiana. He said he’s spent a lot of money to bring his barbershop to life in the past year, including adding running water, cable and air conditioning.

THE PROBLEM

Burt dreams of taking his barbershop on the road. But right now, it’s sitting in his backyard, and it has to stay there. 

The state health department said a barbershop needs to be in a fixed location, preventing him from traveling and helping others.

“To have a rule or law that thwarts his progress — it stands in the way of progress,” David Goodson said after his haircut at Kut Kings on Thursday.

WHAT’S NEXT?

While the state doesn’t allow Burt to operate on the move, he told KWWL he will keep fighting for his mobile barbershop.

“I want to see the actual vision unfold, take place,” he explained.

One haircut can change a person, and changing one person’s life can change a community.

“I’m 60 years old. I just got my haircut. I feel pretty good.” Goodson said with a big smile. “So, for a young person — 8, 12, 13 years old to get a haircut that he can’t afford — he feels good.”

As for Burt, he said he’s proud of his business venture, but he knows he has a long way to go, starting with changing the law.

He said he is contacting local officials to make his dream a reality.

“I believe truly that we’ll get it changed.”

Burt said he hopes to reach as many people as he can. In the future, he’d like to move to a bigger van with more chairs.

KUT KINGS

For more information about Kut Kings, you can visit their Facebook. You can also call (319) 493-8086.

Stay with KWWL as we follow Burt’s progress.

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Olivia Schmitt

Morning Anchor

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